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Immigration Issues/Dual-Citizenship residency requirements


I am helping someone who is a dual citizen (Canada/US) who is currently trying to help her husband convert his green card to US Citizenship.  Not sure if 3 yrs (marital appl.) or 5 yrs. (nonconditional appl.)

She has been snowbirding back and forth and currently in Canada, residing temporarily in Canada while recovering from an accident, and her husband is there as her primary caregiver.  

How strict is the requirement of 3 months physical residency, and continuous physical residency during the application process itself, for her husband?  Are there any work arounds for her other than shifting the whole family back down for the duration?  She is now wheelchair bound, due to injury...though they have residences in both countries, only the one in Canada has been adapted for her temporary condition.  Would it be considered hardship to force them to move together in order to satisfy the residence requirement?

Thanks very much for your answer, in advance.

Dear Sonia,

1. The 3/5 year residency requirement for citizenship is a strict requirement.

2. The residency requirement is waived only in very limited circumstances, involving the permanent resident being sent abroad due to military service or being sent abroad by a US employer.

3. There is no hardship requirement for the residency, unfortunately.  

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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